Hack A $30 Coffee Table Into A Sit-Down Arcade Cabinet

Yesterday, we showed you how to build a render farm out of an IKEA cabinet. Now we bring you the hardcore gamer equivalent: a sit-down arcade machine made out of an IKEA coffee table and a Rasberry Pi computer.

Manny Flores at IKEA Hackers built his retro arcade system out of a Raspberry Pi computer, a Happ arcade joystick and buttons, a Dell LCD monitor, a Logitech MK260 keyboard and mouse, some cheap speakers and i-Pac keyboard encode by Ultimarc.

Here’s Manny on how he constructed his DIY machine:

The Lack table is easily hacked by cutting it’s hollow core material using a utility knife. I outlined the shape of the LCD monitor and carefully cut out the hole. Next I cut out the holes for the joystick, buttons, and control board area. (I used a 1 1/8″ hole cutter to score the shape of the holes and then finished the cut with a utility knife.)
[clear]  [clear]
The RPi runs a version of Linux. I hacked together a simple front-end for selecting the games in Python using some sample code I found on pygame.org. For the games, I used a version of advmame compiled for the RPi. Sound is provided by a pair of cheap speakers hidden by a small enclosure I made that is glued to the bottom of the table. It also has a wireless keyboard and mouse for programming and configuration.[clear]   [clear] In it’s final form, the table is completely controlled by the joystick and buttons so the keyboard is only used occasionally for fine tuning.

You can find out more details on how the system was built and also see some construction photos over at IKEA Hackers.

The Cheapest NBN 50 Plans

Here are the cheapest plans available for Australia’s most popular NBN speed tier.

At Lifehacker, we independently select and write about stuff we love and think you'll like too. We have affiliate and advertising partnerships, which means we may collect a share of sales or other compensation from the links on this page. BTW – prices are accurate and items in stock at the time of posting.


3 responses to “Hack A $30 Coffee Table Into A Sit-Down Arcade Cabinet”